Viral Infection: Influenza or Flu Essay

1475 Words 6 Pages
Influenza or "flu" is a rather contagious viral infection that infects the respiratory tract. Fever, cough, muscle aches, fatigue, rhinorrhea, and sore throat are the symptoms commonly associated with influenza virus. Individuals infected with influenza normally experience mild illness and recover within two weeks. However, specific groups, such as the elderly, young children, and individuals with co-morbidities, appear more susceptible to severe illness as well as mortality due to influenza related complications. H1N1, a causative agent of influenza was identified in spring of 2009. Communication of H1N1 and seasonal influenza occur through droplets created when individuals with the illness cough, sneeze, or talk. Indications of H1N1 …show more content…
Conclusions demonstrating increases in earlier vaccination is more cost-effective and successful in the prevention of influenza associated mortality is perhaps most essential for regions experiencing rapid growth of the virus (Khazeni, Hutton, Garber, Hupert, & Owens, 2009). Since the occurrence of the pandemic, great emphasis has been placed on the importance of influenza vaccination and its role in preventing and slowing transmission of the virus. The three types of influenza viruses that exist to date include A, B, and C viruses. Seasonal epidemics within the human population are caused by A and B viruses. In the United States, epidemics of this sort occur nearly every winter. Respiratory illness that is generally mild can be attributed to influenza type C and is not responsible for epidemics. Seasonal epidemics due to influenza A can lead to extensive morbidity in addition to mortality. Additionally, type A viruses have an exceptional ability to demonstrate modifications in mutation plus lesser antigenic transformations sporadically. These changes can arise in either one or both of the proteins, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N), located on the exterior of the influenza A virus. The presentation of viruses proven to be different from those previously identified in which established immunity is no longer of effect is the outcome of antigenic drift. This process is a significant contributor to the trend of seasonal epidemics which develop annually and is